Newington Housing Association Celebrates 40-year Milestone

One of Northern Ireland’s oldest housing associations today celebrated 40th years of building high quality homes and stronger community relations at a special event in North Belfast. Newington Housing Association provides almost 500 homes for families, older people and single adults in North Belfast and jointly manages a homeless family hostel facility with De Paul Ireland.  Pictured marking the 40-year milestone is Newington Housing Association Chief Executive, Gary Dugan, and Board Member Carmel Maginness, with Social development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA.

NIFHA has joined one of Northern Ireland’s oldest housing associations in celebrating four decades of building high quality homes and stronger community relations at a special event in North Belfast.

Established in 1975, Newington Housing Association provides almost 500 homes for families, older people and single adults in North Belfast and jointly manages a homeless family hostel facility with Depaul Ireland.

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NIFHA’s Chief Executive Cameron Watt attended the celebration event, held at Crumlin Road Gaol, alongside more than 160 people including tenants, community, PSNI and government representatives who have all worked in partnership with the association over four decades.

During the event, the community-based organisation outlined plans with Apex Housing Association that will deliver more than 200 new homes in North Belfast and also paid tribute to several founding and long-standing board Members.

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Speaking at the celebration event, Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA said:

“I am delighted to join in the celebrations for Newington’s 40th anniversary and to recognise the organisation’s achievements over the last four decades.  In working collaboratively with community partner organisations, Newington have transformed and redeveloped North Belfast by not only providing good quality homes but shaping lives for the better.  Newington currently manages nearly 500 homes in North Belfast and I know Newington’s community based ethos of being approachable and accountable to their tenants and local community is one in which they are rightly proud.

“On this anniversary, Newington is certainly also looking to the future. I welcome their new partnership with Apex and their joint commitment to delivering further housing for the people of North Belfast.”

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Gary Dugan, Chief Executive of Newington Housing Association said:

“Newington Housing Association was set up 40 years ago by the community for the community and it is important that we celebrate our milestone anniversary with them in a special way. We’re proud of how we’ve helped transform social housing in North Belfast over the last 40 years and this event is a great opportunity to honour the individuals and partner organisations that have helped us get to where we are today.

“Newington was created to establish alternative housing options and drive forward plans for ambitious social change. Our history is important to us, but are also gearing up for an exciting new chapter. Alongside our partners in Apex, we are planning to increase our housing stock by fifty percent in a few short years. That is exciting news for us and the people of North Belfast. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead and getting more homes on the ground.”

Newington also produced a video for the event, showcasing the work of the organisation over the last 40 years:

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Last year Newington completed two social housing developments totalling £9.2 million that have helped underpin community regeneration in the Limestone Road area of North Belfast.

The association won the Working Together Award recognising its commitment to partnerships at the 2015 prestigious Chartered Institute of Housing Annual Awards and earned three prestigious RICS 2015 Northern Ireland Awards, including Best Northern Ireland Overall Project 2015. In recent weeks, the association was also highly commended at the Irish Property Industry Excellence Awards 2015. In 2014 Newington also received an Aisling Award in the Positive Belfast Category for its work in partnership with local communities on transforming the Limestone Road Interface.

In April, Newington and Apex announced a new partnership aimed at improving the provision of social homes and housing services across North Belfast. The strategic collaboration formalised links and enables private finance to be more efficiently secured for the delivery of much-needed new units in the area while reducing procurement costs. Through the Intra-Group Agreement, both associations have continued to operate as separate organisations with their own Boards of Management and collaborate closely on strategic matters.

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